Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Posted by Deeba PAB
Went to drop the daughter to school this morning for the annual camping trip. They’re off for 3 days to an adventure camp in the lap of the Himalayas. A camp filled with much excitement for the 13 year olds…with promises of body surfing, night hiking, river crossing, rappelling, fish catching techniques, rowing & much more.
It's 3.30 am, time to get moving, and the argument begins once again…
1. You aren’t going to wear flip-flops & board the train?
Of course I am! We ALL are!
But, I argue, lamelessly, the platforms here are filthy.
Don’t I know? We do this every year. It’s OK. We’re ALL wearing these!
I rest my case! Peer pressure, mob mentality… whatever!
2. For heaven’s sake, does each toe nail HAVE to be a different colour?
Yeah, they’re matching the flip-flops. That’s why I bought them!
3. Hurry we’re getting late.
Wait. I still have to paint my nails!
Change of plans over last minute telephone conversations. Multi coloured is off; black is being lavished on the pretty toes. I am about to explode….
We reach school, thankfully well in time, as we are known to be punctual folk. Meet up with a bunch of my friends, parents from the school community, and 4am seems the perfect time to air our woes. Our drift is the same, and we begin exchanging notes. The kids who’ve studied together since they were 4 years old are all thick pals. Everything is obviously decided because one look around, and you can see black painted toe nails & flip flops all across the gym.
A harried father of one of her girlfriends joins our animated conversation. “Why black, why is everything black? My daughter is a rebel. A rebel without a cause,” he says. He hit the nail on the head! Mine is too, only until this morning I didn’t have a coined phrase for her. ‘REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE’ - It does feel better putting her into a category of sorts! (Am I being mean?)
The harried man goes on to add. (They are Bengalis from Eastern India, and this is the most auspicious month for them. They gather at a community fair at this time every year to offer obeisance to their goddess). "We went to the prayer service and fair yesterday and she went dressed like ‘that’." He points to his daughter dressed in shorts, sneakers & a black tee. In India, at fairs like these, you would find people dressed, or rather overdressed, in traditional attire. He continues…"Then when we went to offer flowers to the deity, she stood far from us, refusing to join us, asking what we expected to achieve by doing 'all this'. What do you think you'll ‘get’?" He was pretty alarmed by the sign of times to come as she said she didn’t believe in ‘stuff like this’!
I got back and related this to the hub, who is on the quieter side, and pretty much reserved about his thoughts in public! He had but one comment to make, and with a smile of amused relief. "Thankfully we aren’t religious, so at least we have one less thing to argue over!"